Former Jaguar Patrick Reed is playing in second consecutive PGA Tour event

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Patrick Reed is in love – with his swing, this week’s PGA Tour stop and his fiancée.

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Patrick Reed is playing in the Zurich Classic after qualifying on Monday.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Patrick Reed is playing in the Zurich Classic after qualifying on Monday.

After helping lead Augusta State to a second consecutive NCAA Division I national championship 10 months ago, Reed is finding happiness everywhere he looks.

“We’re just enjoying the moment,” he said. “I’m having a great time.”

Reed is looking to extend his bliss with an appearance in this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He is making his second consecutive PGA Tour start after riding a sponsor exemption to a tie for 35th place in the Texas Open.

After the final round Sunday, he and his fiancée, Justine Karain, drove nine hours from San Antonio to Louisiana. They arrived in the middle of the night, got four hours sleep and he entered Monday’s qualifier. He shot 4-under-par on his round and then birdied the first playoff hole to grab one of three available spots in the Zurich Classic. He tees off in the final pairing at 3 p.m. today.

“I’ve played here before. So I feel comfortable with the golf course,” said Reed, who spent some of his childhood years in nearby Baton Rouge. “If all the stars align, I feel I’ll have a shot of playing well and have a chance at contending.”

Reed is brimming with confidence after leading the field in driving distance last week, averaging more than 308 yards. He said a minor swing change has him hitting the ball longer – and straighter – than ever before.

The 21-year-old Reed, who has no status on the PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour, is finally starting to make his way on the highest level.

In January, he accepted an all-expense-paid trip to play in a pro-am in Tobago. He won first place and a check for $25,000.

When he got back to the US, Reed got engaged to Karain, something he had been thinking about doing for awhile, he said. The two are planning to get married in December. Reed said he’s happy, and that translates to better golf, especially with Karain and her sunny demeanor looping for him.

“She’s been great support,” he said. “She keeps me calm. She’s the positive one.”


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